Tuesday, 7 September 2010

The learning curve

Two thoughts for today's post - the first is about learning in the school holidays - should we or shouldn't we be following up with schoolwork?

Given that my little one is so young, I decided that his first school holidays should be filled with fun, family time and friends. So we ditched the school books and kicked back for the summer. 

Fortunately he is quite a little studious little person so was still interested in listening to those jolly phonics CDs every time we got in the car and did a bit of writing here and there whenever he was interested, rather than being pushed, to do it.

Clearly I haven't quite been brave enough to admit this to the teacher and I don't yet know what impact this will have had on his learning, but I'd be interested in other views - should we be continuing to push them throughout the holidays to read, write, learn with numbers? Is it the case that their little brains need some wind down time? Are they then in danger of forgetting much of what they've learned? As usual, I went with instinct so he really was allowed to switch off completely although I was a little concerned on Monday morning when he told me he couldn't remember how to write the number '2'....

The second point is a quick summary of our 'learnings' from hosting our first ever, proper kids' party on Sunday. My husband decided to be head clown, I mean, entertainer, and did a brilliant job. We had 34 kids in a church hall and a schedule of party games as long as your arm... 

It was brilliant fun and my 'learnings' are as follows:

1. teach your little one the lyrics to "It's my party and I'll cry if I want to" ahead of the big event, bound to come in handy....
2. Haribos are key - to refuelling at the birthday tea, to rewards for winners when we'd run out of silly toys and to help mend sore knees/ general bumps and bruises
3. an Abba CD can go a long way (musical bumps, musical statues, general 'disco' dancing...)
4. never arrange a party without a supply of bubbles at the ready (the fairy liquid kind I mean but the other kind wouldn't go amiss...)
and, finally
5. rope in as many adult helpers as you can - grandparents, aunts, uncles and a few friends to provide much-needed and very welcome assistance throughout!


  1. Hi Claire, great blog! I am def in favour of real holidays with no homework. You can pass off any old sport, reading, board game, crafty, bakey activity as educational anyway in my book - and the english holidays are so short anyway (5 weeks compared to 8 or 9 weeks in France/Belgium). The party bags look amazing!

  2. Hi Catherine, thanks so much for your feedback! I totally agree - we only had 5.5 weeks off which seems nothing.

    Thanks for the support, feeling more convinced about my approach already!